Not the Duke’s Darling
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
What I’m Talking About:
Right from the opening lines, I knew I was going to enjoy Not the Duke’s Darling. There is mystery and intrigue, but more importantly, there is a wonderful, well-written romance between two passionate characters.
When she was only 12, Freya Stewart de Moray’s family was torn apart by a horrible tragedy. She and her sisters went to live with their aunt in Scotland and were raised to become agents of the ancient secret society of Wise Women. Five years ago, Freya returned to London under a pseudonym, working as a Wise Woman and protecting the women and children who most need it. With a proposal on the table to make witch hunting openly legal and encouraged, and since many believe the Wise Women to be witches, Freya must find a way to stop the legislation from moving forward.
Christopher Renshaw, Duke of Harlow, has been back in London for two years after a 13-year exile in India. He prefers to live a solitary life as penance for his role in the Greycourt incident, but when a despicable man from his past threatens Christopher, he’s forced into attending a country party where he runs across a mysterious woman from his past.
Freya and Christoper’s romance is years in the making. While she may have only been the little sister of his best friend, Freya was always part of Christopher’s young life. But after the Greycourt tragedy, their lives fell apart, to include Freya’s estrangement from her best friend, Messalina Greycourt. In Not the Duke’s Darling, we learn of the whos and whats of the misfortune of fifteen years ago. The author does a marvelous job creating an intricate backstory for these three families, while giving glimpses as to the impacts it had on each character’s life. I have the feeling we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.
While I adore the romance between Christopher and Freya, there is so much more to this book. A mystery surrounds the death of Lady Randolph, something Freya must unravel in order to save the Wise Women. The story is interesting and exciting, with a surprising twist. However, it is the character development and interactions that makes the book so hard to put down. The author creates interesting, multi-dimensional personalities that seem to fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
I absolutely loved the combination of an almost meant-to-be romance with the mystery surrounding Lady Randolph’s death. The Wise Women aspect is wonderful, and I truly hope it is a common thread within the series. I love a strong-willed woman who is supported by an open-minded man. The romance between Freya and Christopher is grand – something in years in the making, even though tragedy and time separated them. I love that Christopher was so open with Freya, that he loved her so much he was willing to let her go. While the witch aspect was downplayed for most of the story, I do hope we get more about the women and the rolls they play in society. It’s just a delightful and engrossing tale the had me deeply invested in the outcome.
My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
About the Book:
Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe–the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family–appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.
Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins. Sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous-a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust-by whatever means necessary.
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Publisher: Forever Publishing
Series: Greycourt #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): paperback (496 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher